It wasn’t pretty for sure but a win is a win and in this league you don’t apologize when you win a football game. The Dolphins will have a short week to go on the road against a very tough opponent in Cincinnati now to try to get back to .500. Here are some things that stood out about today’s game.
1) Adam Gase has been bad through 3 games. I know he is a first time head coach but there is no nice way to say it, Gase has been bad. Started week 1 when Gase went for it on 4th down and didn’t take a field goal and today the play calling (which he does on offense) was atrocious. The Dolphins best weapons on offense are our wide receivers and to boot our offensive line is very good at pass blocking. So playing against a team who’s #1 CB, Joe Haden, is out why wouldn’t you just air it out all day long? When Miami did air it out and pass they had success, lots of it to be honest. But Gase stuck with the running game, which wasn’t working, far too long. It got to the point where Miami was predictable and was running on 1st and 2nd down and then was facing 3rd and long. And yes, Tannehill has to protect the ball better, but when a QB is in 3rd and long all day it is tough to have success. We played right into the Browns hand today for about half the game.
When Miami did air it out DeVante Parker was open for most of the day and had a nice game. Jarvis Landry had a huge game and was running wide open through the Browns secondary as well. The Dolphins have elite WR’s who can get open vs anyone and Tannehill has time this year, and he will find these guys for big plays in the passing game. I know Gase wants to run the ball but he has to realize Miami can’t run. The o-line is soft in run blocking and our running backs are less than stellar.
2) Speaking of running backs this group leaves a lot to be desired. Yes, the o-line’s strength isn’t run blocking but the running backs don’t help at all. Kenyan Drake led in carries with 9 but he did next to nothing on the ground. Jay Ajai had a nice run in overtime for the touchdown, probably the highlight of the day for all the backs. He had 7 carries for the game and was the guy the coaching staff went to in crunch time which does tell you something. Isiah Pead did nothing. Damien Williams got 15 yards on his one carry but they never went back to him. I still think Jay Ajai has the most upside and out of this bad bunch and he looked the best today, but nobody stood out.
3) I am just going to lump the entire defense all together here. They were horrible today, and that is being kind. They let a 3rd string rookie QB in his first start look capable and they also let a WR line up under center and run all over them. The run defense is as bad as it was last year if not worse. The linebackers just aren’t good at all. And after Xavien Howard I am not sure there is a CB on this team I want on the roster next year. Cam Wake looked good (but had some offsides penalties and still is a situational player only and also on a snap count) but the rest of the d-line was ok at best.
As I said, the Fins are 1-2 and tied for second in the division as silly as it sounds. They also have the same record as the Panthers, Redskins, Bengals, and Cardinals. Those are all playoff teams last year. As uninspired we Fin Fans feel today, if they find a way to sneak out a road win Thursday vs Cincy and we are 2-2 we all will have a different outlook on this team. As I said to open, a win is a win and style points mean nothing. Just take the win and move on. On to Cincinnati.